Monthly Archives: November 2013
Family pictures are always a trial. It really doesn’t matter how big the kids are either. When my husband, Bob was a kid, he was very much a cut up. He liked to get everyone laughing and basically keep the situation a little off center. Of course, his mother really didn’t appreciate that much, and it was even worse, when Bob got Brenda laughing. Brenda found many things that her big brother did to be quite funny, and had a very hard time not laughing about his antics. And as anyone who knows Brenda will attest, once you get Brenda laughing about something, it’s hard to get her to stop. Now most of the time, that is ok, because it really is fun to listen to Brenda’s laugh, but when they were trying to get those pictures taken, Brenda’s laugh, and Bob’s humor were not as appreciated as they were on most other occasions.
On this particular occasion, in about 1968, Bob and Brenda were in rare form, joking with each other quite a bit. Their mother seemed to be handling things pretty well, and their sisters all thought the whole thing was pretty funny too. Their dad, however, was clearly not amused at all. I’m sure that by the time this whole photography session was over, he even had quite a headache. He was always a very easy going, and mostly a soft spoken person, but I would wager that this had taxed his patience to the limit.
I have known this man a long time, and he was always long suffering, but once his patience had ended, he had the ability to blow a gasket with the best of them. At that point, you knew it was time to straighten up your act, and by the look on Bob’s and Brenda’s faces he had reached that point. They were clearly mid-laugh when their dad yelled, “Knock it off!!” At that point there was nothing they could do except to close their mouths tightly and swallow what was left of that laugh. That can make for the funniest of faces as you can clearly see, but I suppose it was better than the alternative, which would have been the spanking they probably deserved.
After looking at this picture of my Great Uncle Albert Schumacher, and learning of his love for machinery from my cousin Shawn Frederick, I have decided that while my Uncle Bill Spencer does not look like his Uncle Albert, he is indeed very much like him in many ways, as is my cousins Tim and Shawn Fredrick’s dad, Gene, and Tim’s son, Daniel. These are men who like the inner workings of machinery, as well as their design. “Great Uncle Albert’s claim to fame”, according to what Shawn told us, “was that he studied machinery constantly and could fix ANY kind of machinery. He was also the only one in the territory to own a Ford car and always dreamed of owning a Rolls Royce. He also taught all of his boys to repair cars.” I have to think that maybe he handed down his talents by way of the genes to a number of other men in the family too.
Uncle Bill, who is Albert’s sister, Anna’s oldest son, and the one who got many of the Spencer side of my family interested in the family history, put together a tractor made from a pickup. According to Uncle Bill, “It had 1927 Dodge 4 cylinder engine with a 6 volt electrical system. The front axle was turned upside down for clearance. The rear axle was a worm gear drive gear system that was 18 inches top to bottom. It had 10 x 20 truck tires from a 1915 5 ton Wilcox Truck. In low gear the engine turned 18 times to turn the wheels once. It could do twice what a team of horses could do, and it didn’t have to stop to rest.” Uncle Bill was pretty proud of that tractor. He also bought an old school bus, back when his kids and my sisters and I were little kids. He spent quite a bit of time converting that old bus into a camper/motorhome for his family to travel in. I can vividly remember the fun times we spent in that old bus. We used to take trips in it with them, and we would hang out in it when they visited us or we visited them…especially us kids. It was almost like a club house.
Daniel, being a young man of just 12 years, does most of his design and building work at home, and much of it is done with Legos and such, but his dad tells me that Daniel is constantly building and inventing things…sounds a lot like his Great Grand Uncle Albert, doesn’t it? I think Daniel’s future possibilities are endless. He is a smart young man, and very motivated, so he will go far. It’s amazing to me that these men, while generations apart, are so much alike. I have often thought that when there are generations and generations of people in the same line of work, that it was just following in their parent’s footsteps, and maybe to a degree it was, but maybe it was just in the genes.